Volunteers Demolish And Rebuild Longview Home

In a drastic makeover volunteers demolished an old and run down Longview house, Saturday to make way for a new one.  The demolition is part of a rebuilding program involving Red Oak Baptist Church and LeTourneau University students.  Sy Jackson, 80 desperately needed a new home.

"I was surprised when I first heard about it," said Jackson.  "I was surprised."

"This is our mission, and we know that his home was not warm enough for him," said Red Oak Church member Marie Edwards.  "He is our brother in Christ."  Dry rot was eating away that wood, the plumbing was bad and the floors were coming apart.  Jackson was thankful his church and the students stepped in.

"We're getting to knock this down for this brother, but then we're going to get to build it back up, and he's going to be here to see all that happen," said LeTourneau student volunteer Brandon Johnson.

"I think it' wonderful," said Jackson.  "I'm excited.  I'm really excited."  They've joined together in this project for the simplest of reasons.  Not for money, or recognition, but because somebody in the community needs their help.  Their plan is to rebuild the home within two months.  Through donations of material, labor and funds, they'll build a $45,000 home, and they said they don't want Jackson to be forgotten.

"Elderly people tend to be swept under the rug," said Johnson.  "they've given us their whole lives and they've done a lot of work."  For those involved, it's simply what we should do for each other.

"This is what its all about, helping one another" said Edwards.

Jackson has lived at the home for the past 12 years.  He will stay with relatives until his home is ready.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting. bhallmark@kltv.com